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Open Letter from TAPOL, ETAN and others on Munir murder investigations


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
President of Indonesia
Istana Merdeka
Jakarta 10110

11 May 2005

Dear President,

Munir murder investigations

We have followed closely the investigations now underway into the murder of our highly-esteemed colleague, Munir, a foremost human rights defender who enjoyed an outstanding reputation, both nationally and internationally.

We are deeply concerned with the lack of progress in the investigations and fear that political interference in the process may lead to the impending release of the suspect Pollycarpus and result in charges against him being improperly reduced from murder to the falsification of documents.

We are also very concerned that for political reasons no steps appear to have been taken to appropriately prosecute Indra Setiawan, the former chief executive of Garuda. Setiawan issued a letter that made it possible for Pollycarpus to intervene with Garuda personnel to move Munir to a business class seat on board flight 974. This appears to have facilitated the poisoning of Munir on board the aircraft.

We believe that firm action against all those against whom there is sufficient evidence is essential in order to get to the bottom of the conspiracy which led to Munir's death. Evidence already unearthed by the team Pencari Fakta (fact-finding team) clearly points to the role of intelligence officials in the murder. The possible role of government officials or agents should be of utmost concern to your government and should be investigated independently, thoroughly and professionally without any political interference.

We are further disturbed by reports that Munir's widow has received more threats warning her that she will be "kidnapped and blinded" if she continues to "pry into Munir's death".

We urge you to personally instruct all government officials to allow an independent investigation and prosecution to take place, no matter where the evidence leads. We regard this as a test case of your government's ability to make Indonesia a state based on the rule of law and we ask you to ensure that those responsible for this murder do not enjoy impunity, as has so often been the case in the past.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Barber


Human Rights Watch
TAPOL, the Indonesia Human Rights Campaign, UK
International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development (INFID)
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), US
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Right, US
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID), Philippines
Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
Down to Earth, UK
Radio Rakambia, East Timor
Vision Machine Film Project, UK
Southwest Organizing School, US
11.11.11 , the Coaliton of the North South movement, Belgium
SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia)
The Borneo Project, US
North Carolina Peace Action, US
Alliance for Global Justice, US
Indonesian, Chinese and American Network, US
Institute on Religion and Public Policy, US
Pan-African Coalition for the Liberation of West Papua
Australian Coalition of West Papua Support Groups, comprising, AWPA (ACT), AWPA (Brisbane), AWPA (Melbourne), AWPA (South Australia),AWPA (Sydney), Australians for a Free West Papua, NT, AWPA Newcastle
Free West Papua Campaign, UK
Indonesia Human Rights Committee, New Zealand
International Labor Rights Fund, US
Human Rights First, US
International Forum for Aceh, US
Worker Rights Consortium, US
Pax Christi USA: National Catholic Peace Movement, US
Global Ministries (United Church of Christ and also the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ), US
Conference of Major Superiors of Men, US
Jews Against Genocide, US
Global Exchange, US

Additional signatures:

Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA), US
NIHAC (Northwest International Health Action Coalition), US
Peace Movement Aotearoa
Watch Indonesia, Germany
West Papua Action Network, US
HAK Association, East Timor
West Papua Action Network, Canada 
Boston Catholic Task Force for East Timor
KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiative

Cc: Chief of the Indonesian police (Polri), General Da'i Bachtiar

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Contact: Paul Barber on +44 1420 80153 or +44 774 730 1739

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